When Corporations Celebrate Black History Month - Page 3 of 4

When Corporations Celebrate Black History Month

justice and so does this rose. One dozen Freedom roses retails for $59.95, a little more than organic flowers from other retailers, but with each purchase of the Freedom Bouquet 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.

Marcia’s Rating: 4

When corporations commercialize holidays, it can get really ugly, but Organic Bouquet’s idea is so very apropos and it makes good business sense too.


Kmart wants to reach the African American community by “sharing a message of quality, exclusive services and smart prices during the month of February.” The bigbox retailer recruited funny man Steve Harvey to make special in-store appearances. Plus, the company brought onboard Mocha Moms, an online, non-profit support group for mothers of color.

Marcia’s Rating: 1.5

Kmart is using Black History Month to lure people out to shop at their stores, but the Website has little to do with Black History. If you don’t already know about Kmart’s special Black History Month Share-the-Word Website then you certainly won’t find any mention of it on Kmart.com. And it is pretty unclear what “word” the retailer wants people to share. On the Website, the only redeeming attribute is a seven-question black history quiz that doesn’t have any links leading back to the site. Now, that is just bad Website fundamentals. This is a half-hearted attempt at celebrating black history.


Payless ShoeSource is selling a limited-edition silver-toned loop-link “Rolo” chain with colorful adornments and a charm inscribed with the word “Believe” on one side and “Dream” on the other. One hundred percent of the net profits for every $4 charm necklace sold will be donated to a scholarship program established with the National Urban League’s Project Ready Program, with a minimum guaranteed donation of $35,000.

*Marcia’s Rating: 3
If you wear the necklace, you will believe. The questions is, believe in what? Payless  loses one point since shoe stores aren’t exactly where most people plan to buy their jewelry, and another point since there are no links or advertisements about the limited-edition necklace on their main site. For paying tribute to the abstract idea of “believing” I give Payless’ Black History Month a three, one for each charm on their necklace.

(*Renita’s Rebuttal: The concept of paying tribute to “dreaming” and “believing” for Black History Month is creative. While I agree we need to recognize the people and moments that shaped black culture and America, we also need to look at the impetus behind what gave these icons the desire and strength to persevere and do what they did. Hence — believing and dreaming.)


Dominion, a Richmond, Virginia-based energy company, is offering the Strong Men and Women Excellence in Leadership Series” which exemplifies how companies should approach Black History Month. This year, the company identified nine African American role models and then converted their stories into an educational series that is distributed during Black